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ISLAMABAD: Police officials investigating the murder of a woman whose body was found in a suitcase on Sept 25 believe the victim’s husband may have been involved in the murder, police said on Tuesday.

The police have approached Interpol in Islamabad, requesting a red warrant to arrest the victim’s husband, who is abroad, and bring him back to Pakistan for legal action, police said.

The Islamabad police’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) is investigating the murder of a woman whose body was found in a suitcase on I.J. Principal Road nearly I-14/3, police said. But nothing was found from the body or the suitcase that could lead to her identification.

The SIU eventually succeeded in identifying the victim as Anam Saleem, a Kharian native who was employed at a beauty salon. Police said she had travelled to Islamabad from Abu Dhabi on Sept 23.

Her family was also located and details of the victim were sought to determine the motive for the murder as well as to locate the killer. Investigators also used video surveillance collected under the Safe City Project, which showed a taxi arriving at the location where Saleem’s body was found and the taxi driver exiting the vehicle, pulling out a suitcase and leaving it there.

However, the registration of the vehicle was not visible on the recording, leading SIU officials to approach Benazir Bhutto International Airport, seeking camera recordings and other technical assistance.

The investigation revealed that Saleem had converted to Islam from Christianity and married a man who worked in Saudi Arabia. Police said she was a frequent traveller and had visited the United Arab Emirates three times recently.

On Sept 23, Saleem was received at the airport by her husband and one of his friends, and they had gone to their home in the Defence Housing Authority. Her husband arrived in Islamabad a day earlier from Saudi Arabia, and travelled back to Saudi Arabia on Sept 24.

The investigators rounded up six suspects, including Saleem’s husband’s friend, who helped the police identify the taxi driver, who was also arrested. The victim’s husband’s friend and the taxi driver confessed to acting as accomplices of the victim’s husband, who they claimed had strangled Saleem because he had suspicious regarding her character.

He then bundled the body into a suitcase, and got the taxi driver to help transport it to I.J. Principal Road, where Saleem’s body was found, the alleged accomplices told SIU officials.

The victim’s belongings, including clothes, her purse and documents were recovered from the home of her husband’s friend.

Published in Dawn October 5th, 2016